The government has pledged to allocate $45,4 million towards reviving the agricultural sector this year.
Addressing delegates at the provincial launch of the Medium-Term Plan document last week, Economic Planning and Investment Promotion minister Tapuwa Mashakada, said the government had realised agriculture was the country’s economic backbone hence the need to allot more resources to resuscitate it.
“The government is trying to revamp this sector and I hope the distribution will be done timely and systematically. I want to urge those responsible for the distribution particularly chiefs and district administrators not to politicise the scheme,” Mashakada said.
“Farmers need to be productive, not just to grow grass.”
Zimbabwe’s agricultural sector suffered a heavy knock at the onset of the land reform programme in 2000 and has remained inadequately funded since, turning the country, which was once a breadbasket, into a basket case.
“We are adopting a holistic approach to agriculture in order to ensure that the sector remains the backbone of this economy. We are aware of the problem these schemes are associated with. We are working on that so they will be properly used,” he said.
Mashakada said $8,1 million of the $45,4 million would be reserved for vulnerable households, $20,3 million for communal farmers while $17 milion would be distributed among A1 and A2 farmers.